Charlie Deist: Brad DeLong on Austrian Economics:
Charlie Deist: Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Bob Zadek Show.
Charlie Deist: Brad DeLong on Austrian Economics:
Charlie Deist: Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Bob Zadek Show.
Should-Read: I say it is time to promote this guy to Admiral: AdmiralPAYGO!: Ed Lorenzen: @CaptainPAYGO on Twitter: "The Treasury Department dynamic 'analysis' of tax reform makes a mockery of dynamic analysis and does a disservice to those who advocate for serious dynamic estimates https://t.co/PudiRrQzu1..."
Brad DeLong: @de1ong on Twitter: This is a surprise? Static analysis was always about making a bias-variance tradeoff: A static analysis would be biased, but have lower mean-squared error because the "dynamic" terms would inevitably be overwhelmingly large-magnitude political-partisan-lobbyist-ideologue noise:
Hoisted from the Archives from 2015: Night Thoughts on Dynamic Scoring: Live from DuPont Circle: Last Thursday two of the smartest participants at the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity conference—Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard—claimed marvelous things from the enactment of JEB!'s proposed tax cuts and his regulatory reform program. They claimed:
Losing friends on Twitter: What can I do here? What should I have done differently?
It is a matter of basic empirical historical fact that to a typical upper class white Virginian in the 1950s, "individual liberty" included, as principal and basic parts, the liberties:
Empirical fact. Historical fact. A seamless web of "individual liberty". These were among its principal components.
To deny that these were (a large) part of what "individual liberty" meant to a typical upper class white Virginian in the 1950s—to claim that you need "textual evidence" proving that this was how any particular one thought, for the "belief" that this was the case is a "slender reed"—that is a truly remarkable hill to choose to die on:
Joseph Britt: @zathras3 on Twitter:Thread by @de1ong in response to an observation I made about @SenBobCorker & the Senate #TaxBill-it understates resources available to a senior Senator, but is dead accurate on damage to the Senate done by McConnell trashing Regular Order.
Another day passes without any of the Unprofessional Republican Economists—not the nine, not the three, not the hundred-odd—with the exception of Jagdish Bhagwati—even emitting a peep about how the tax "reform" bill will not, in fact, pay for itself, and will raise the national debt above the appropriate counterfactual baseline...
It is worth reiterating just how unprofessional this has been. The authors take the following logical steps in constructing their argument:
And the video from October is up:
INET Edinburgh Panel: Gains from Trade: Is Comparative Advantage the Ideology of the Comparatively Advantaged?:
My notes and slides:
November 29, 2017
The Honorable Orrin Hatch, Chairman
US Senate Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Kevin Brady, Chairman
US House Committee on Ways & Means
1102 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Ron Wyden, Ranking Member
US Senate Committee on Finance
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Richard Neal, Ranking Member
US House Committee on Ways & Means
1106 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Live from Souvenir on Claremont: (Early) Monday Smackdown: Tax Reform Intellectual Garbage Cleanup Edition:
1) I am informed—by "persons who say they are familiar with the matter"—that Barro, Boskin, Cogan, Holtz-Eakin, Hubbard, Lindsey, Rosen, Shultz, and Taylor are not lying when they say on Wednesday "we did not offer claims about the speed of adjustment to a long-run result...." even though the previous Saturday they had written about a raise in "the level of GDP in the long run by just over 4%. If achieved over a decade, the associated increase in the annual rate of GDP growth would be about 0.4% per year..."
Why aren't they lying on Wednesday?
Because the "if" does not mean: "it could be the case that..."
Instead, the "if" means: "for illustrative purposes, if you have trouble converting from changes in levels to growth rates, as an illustrative example, suppose that in a counterfactual world (which is definitely not this world)..."
**KEN CALVERT** District 42: Inland Empire: Corona—West Riverside R+09: Safeness of Seat 42%: Percent of Returns 6.9%: Percent of AGI $1.28 billion SALT in 2014 304,000 tax returns in 2014 $18.545 billion AGI in 2014 $1.2819 billion deduction amount in 2014 35.1%: Income <$50K/year 12.0%: Poverty Rate 35.8%: White Collar 5.0% : Income >$200K/year
**STEVE KNIGHT** District 25: Antelope Valley: Northeast Los Angeles Suburbs and Exurbs Even: Safeness of Seat 42%: Percent of Returns 7.4%: Percent of AGI $1.49 billion SALT in 2014 304,000 tax returns in 2014 $20.131 billion AGI in 2014 $1.4947 billion deduction amount in 2014 36.6%: Income <$50K/year 14.0%: Poverty Rate 37.4%: White Collar 8.0% : Income >$200K/year
**MIMI WALTERS** District 45: Central Orange County: Irvine, Lake Forest R+03: Safeness of Seat 46%: Percent of Returns 8.5% Percent of AGI of AGI $2.97 billion SALT in 2014 340,000 tax returns in 2014 $34.883 billion AGI in 2014 $2.9682 billion deduction amount in 2014 26.8%: Income <$50K/year 8.3% : Poverty Rate 51.4%: White Collar 13.8%: Income >$200K/year
**KEVIN McCARTHY** District 23: Bakersfield: South Central Valley R+14: Safeness of Seat 34%: Percent of Returns 5.9%: Percent of AGI $960 million SALT in 2014 274,000 tax returns in 2014 $16.247 billion AGI in 2014 $0.9595 billion deduction amount in 2014 47.6%: Income <$50K/year 19.8%: Poverty Rate 31.2%: White Collar 3.8% : Income >$200K/year
**ED ROYCE** District 39: Northern Orange County: Anaheim-Fullerton Even: Safeness of Seat 40%: Percent of Returns 7.6%: Percent of AGI $1.89 billion SALT in 2014 328,000 tax returns in 2014 $24.575 billion AGI in 2014 $1.8797 billion deduction amount in 2014 30.9%: Income <$50K/year 11.6%: Poverty Rate 42.4%: White Collar 9.6% : Income >$200K/year
**JEFF DENHAM** District 10: Middle Central Valley: Stanislaus-Modesto Even: Safeness of Seat 30% : Percent of Returns 5.3%: Percent of AGI $860 million SALT in 2014 294,000 tax returns in 2014 $16.264 billion AGI in 2014 $0.8552 billion deduction amount in 2014 47.1%: Income <$50K/year 19.1%: Poverty Rate 27.0%: White Collar 3.1% : Income >$200K/year
Should-Read: The very sharp Binyamin Applebaum had an interesting rant yesterday: Binyamin Applebaum: @BCAppelbaum on Twitter: "I am not sure there is a defensible case for the discipline of macroeconomics if they can’t at least agree on the ground rules for evaluating tax policy...
November 30, 2017 at 06:15 AM in Berkeley, Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Macro, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Information: Internet, Moral Responsibility, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (26)
Project Syndicate: Keeping US Policymaking Honest: Last month here at Berkeley I heard great optimism from the illustrious Alice Rivlin. What “technocracy” in the good sense the United States has—what respect is paid to sound analysis and empirical evidence in the making of policy—is due more to Alice Rivlin than to any other living human.
First of all, note that nine and only nine would sign on to this letter.
That is not a large number.
Second, note that they do not analyze the deficit-increasing tax bill on display, but rather something else:
Robert J. Barro, Michael J. Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence B. Lindsey, Harvey S. Rosen, George P. Shultz, and John. B. Taylor: How Tax Reform Will Lift the Economy: "In the foregoing analysis, we assumed a revenue-neutral corporate tax change...
...or, especially, after-tax real median growth. Or even 2%-ile income growth. Let alone well-being after cuts in public services.
You just can't. It doesn't add up at any level. As a matter of arithmetic...
Just too much of existing capital income flows to foreigners. Too much of extra production generated by a capital inflow would be credited to foreigners. And domestic savings supply is relatively inelastic. Even if you put both hands on the scale and lean hard, it just doesn't work, even without noting how much of payments to capital are monopoly rents and payments to other forms of capital that are not interest sensitive...
And Paul Krugman has been on fire this fall:
(Plus the salmon (on my machine) rectangle, minus the... what color is that? (on my machine) brownish-gold rectangle—that's the long-run change in U.S. national income from a budget neutral tax "reform" like that Trumpublicans are proposing. The effects of a deficit-increasing one are... less favorable.)
Attracting him a very great move by http://equitablegrowth.org, I must say...
Greg Leiserson has been killing it on tax policy this late summer and fall, most notably with The Tax Foundation’s score of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But there is lots more good stuff as well:
Information from the very sharp Eric Toder: The House Ways and Means Tax Bill Would Raise the National Debt to 123 percent of GDP by 2037: "The Tax Policy Center estimates that the House Ways and Means Committee’s version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA)...
...over the first decade... increases the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars.... Between 2028 and 2037, the TCJA would reduce net receipts by 1.6 trillion dollars and add 920 billion dollars in additional interest costs. Over the entire 20-year period, the combination of reduced revenues and higher interest payments would raise the federal debt held by the public by 4.2 trillion dollars...
Politics in the Way of Progress: The seventeen—seventeen!—sustainable development goals are: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and "Partnerships for the Goals https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Development_Goals.
At the Milken Review: When Globalization is Public Enemy Number One: The first 30 years after World War II saw the recovery and reintegration of the world economy (the “Thirty Glorious Years,” in the words of French economist Jean Fourastié). Yet after a troubled decade—one in which oil shocks, inflation, near-depression and asset bubbles temporarily left us demoralized—the subsequent 33 years (1984-2007) of perky growth and stable prices were even more impressive... Read MOAR at Milken Review
Alice Rivlin is speaking this afternoon at Berkeley's GSPP in honor of John Ellwood's retirement on EVIDENCE AND POLICY ANALYSIS IN THE AGE OF FAKE NEWS. A question I will not have time to ask:
Alice, I listen to you, and I think of Irving Kristol, who explained his “rather cavalier attitude” to technocratic questions of what economic policies would actually do thus:
Over on the Twitter machine, the learned and incredibly sharp Owen Zidar writes, about the picky model-based incidence analysis points:
@omzidar: On Twitter: The number of tweets needed to describe this issue suggest more clarification/ a detailed step by step post would be useful...
My view is that in the end all this—Krugman (2017b) and (2017a); DeLong (2017d), (2017c), (2017b), and (2017a); Bernstein (2017); Furman (2017); and Mankiw (2017)—when unpacked, boils down to Econ 1-level tax incidence, and an algebraic mistake in calculating overelaborated and overcomplicated versions thereof.
I seem to have a disagreement with Jason Furman here:
@jasonfurman: Not seeing the math error. Mankiw said static. His soln is right for static (defined as unchanged base)... And dynamic version is higher.
I was taught the definition of "static" by the Jedi Masters at OTA in the early 1990s...
Note to Self: Greg Mankiw Providing Backup for Kevin Hassett Department: Larry Summers One last time on who benefits from corporate tax cuts: "Mankiw’s blog is a fine bit of economic pedagogy...
Ricardo believes in labor value prices because capital flows to put people to work wherever those things can be made with the fewest workers. This poses a problem for Ricardo: The LTV tells him that capitalist production should take place according to absolute advantage, with those living in countries with no absolute advantage left in subsistence agriculture.
I have just spent four hours on a plane to Edinburgh—four hours when I should have been sleeping—chasing my own analytic tail in a counterproductive way.
It was me demonstrating that I am indeed a Bear of Very Little Brain in ways too numerous to enumerate...
It started when I ran across an excellent twitter thread from Jason Furman:
Some talk lately of Ramsey models and their implications for wage increases under the Unified Framework (warning: irrelevant nerdy thread)...
In the middle of saying a number of smart things, Jason said something that confused me—that a calculation comparing Ramsey model steady—states suggested that a 200b corp tax cut [would bring a] 300b wage increase", at least in "Greg Mankiw’s toy example", which Jason wanted to "stipulate... is right..."
I did not understand where such a conclusion could come from.
Melissa S. Kearney: How Should Governments Address Inequality?: "In 2014, an unusual book topped bestseller lists around the world: Capital in the Twenty-first Century...
...an 816-page scholarly tome by the French economist Thomas Piketty that examined the massive increase in the proportion of income and wealth accruing to the world’s richest people. Drawing on an unprecedented amount of historical economic data from 20 countries, Piketty showed that wealth concentration had returned to a peak not seen since the early twentieth century. Today in the United States, the top one percent of households earn around 20 percent of the nation’s income, a dramatic change from the middle of the twentieth century, when income was spread more evenly and the top one percent’s share hovered at around ten percent. Piketty predicted that without corrective action, the trend toward ever more concentrated income and wealth would continue, and so he called for a global tax on wealth.
Live at Project Syndicate: Politics in the Way of Progress https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/populist-politics-block-development-goals-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-10: BERKELEY – There are 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to tackle problems including poverty, hunger, disease, inequality, climate change, ecological degradation, and many others in between. Clearly, 17 is too many. As Frederick the Great supposedly said, “He who defends everything defends nothing.” Similarly, those who emphasize everything emphasize nothing.
This points to the problem of forging goals through consensus: they can end up being a wish list for everything short of heaven on Earth. But, to be effective, goals should operate like turnpikes, which allow you to make progress toward a specific destination much faster than if you had taken the scenic route. The purpose of consensus building, then, should be to get us to the on-ramp, after which it becomes harder to make a wrong turn or reverse course... Read MOAR at Project Syndicate
Let me put a spotlight on the very sharp Brink Lindsey here...
Brink Lindsey believes utopia is in our grasp. Our problems today are, he thinks, at their root problems about the creation of truly human identities that people can embrace.
This is a remarkable shift.
Previous human societies have had very different problems:
Should-Read: Anton Howes: Why study Economic History?: "What is Economic History? It is about asking some of the biggest and most interesting questions imaginable... https://medium.com/@antonhowes/why-study-economic-history-ef747767be25
Apropos of Janet Napolitano's : The future of NAFTA and the state of U.S.-Mexico relations: "A forum hosted by the University of California and Tecnológico de Monterrey..." https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/initiative/uc-mexico-initiative/nafta-conference...
My present thoughts about NAFTA:
Nearly a quarter century ago, early in the Clinton administration, I was one of the leads on the team responsible for constructing estimate of the economic impact of NAFTA. And I definitely have some explaining to do.
And now, moving from the twenty-first century back 2500 years to a much earlier age of information technology: John Ma https://twitter.com/Nakhthor/status/908024914011193344—much peace and strength attend him!—reminds me of his "accessible edition of some letters of a member of the Achaimenid elite, the actual satrap of Egypt", Prince Arshama, quite possibly the great-grandson of King of Kings Darayavush I, writing in the late 400s B.C. to various of his subordinates http://arshama.bodleian.ox.ac.uk:
Just look at this:
Kansas is—in some strong sense—unbelievably loony.
No sooner does Sam Brownback manage to plant his behind in the Governor's chair in Topeka, KS than does Kansas's share of American nonfarm jobs and people start to drop like a stone.
Jeebus, Greg. Context, please!
The whole point of inheritance—financial, cultural, sociological—is precisely not to give everyone "the same shot". Inequality of Result + "inheritance" = Inequality of Opportunity. And that's not a good thing. Unless, that is, you think that you choose your parents, and should benefit if you were smart enough to choose them wisely...
Hoisted from February 12, 2007: May I Have My Context Back, Please? http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/02/may_i_have_my_c.html:
Hoisted from 2010: What Do Econ 1 Students Need to Remember Most from the Course? http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2010/12/what-do-econ-1-students-need-to-remember-most-from-the-course.html: Economics deals with those things that we want but that are "scarce".
Gavin Wright: Review of "Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development": https://eh.net/book_reviews/slaverys-capitalism-a-new-history-of-american-economic-development/
Stephanie McCurry: Slavery and economics http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/slavery-economics/
Hoisted from the Archives: More Dred Scott v. Sanford Blogging for 2007's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend! http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/01/more_dred_scott.html: Mark Graber has gotten himself to the right of John C. Calhoun. This is a position painful and ludicrous for a twenty-first-century American legal academic to assume.
It is a position so painful and ludicrous that it should induce any twenty-first-century American academic to undertake an agonizing reappraisal—particularly over Martin Luther King holiday weekend. But Mark Graber doesn't. Let's turn the mike over to him:
August 05, 2017 at 10:27 AM in Berkeley, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (0)
https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/universities-in-the-age-of-trump-by-j--bradford-delong-2017-07: Let me take a break in this column from our usual economics to worry about our institutions: What have we to say—to hope and fear—about the role and the future of the independent—ideologically and intellectually—university?
Brad DeLong: （経済教室）グローバル化を巡る攻防(下)偏りない成長で不安払拭 市場経済の経験を生かせ Ｂ・デロング カリフォルニア大学バークレー校教授 ：日本経済新聞 http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGKKZO19272800W7A720C1KE8000/
(Battle over globalization (down) Uneasy with unbiased growth Leverage the experience of market economy)
When I read this by David Glasner, I wonder whether the shift in Hayek's beliefs between the 1930s and the 1980s was an improvement. In the 1930s, he believed in big depressions—"secondary deflation"—as a way of breaking "nominal rigidities", which I understand as the power of labor to resist being forced to accept declines in real wage rates. By the 1980s, he seemed to believe in shooting people like me in soccer stadiums, and throwing them out of helicopters into the South Atlantic. See: Pinochet, Augusto
David Glasner: Hayek, Deflation and Nihilism: "Hayek argued that... neutral money was... constant total spending (MV)... https://uneasymoney.com/2017/07/23/hayek-deflation-and-nihilism/
...Once the downturn started to accelerate, causing aggregate spending to decline by 50% between 1929 and 1933, Hayek, totally disregarding his own neutral-money criterion, uttered not a single word in protest of a monetary policy that was in flagrant violation of his own neutral money criterion. On the contrary, Hayek wrote an impassioned defense of the insane gold accumulation policy of the Bank of France, which along with the US Federal Reserve was chiefly responsible for the decline in aggregate spending.... Hayek’s policy advice was... relentlessly pro-deflation. Why did Hayek offer policy advice so blatantly contradicted by his own neutral-money criterion?...
The puzzle about just how and why the brain eater ate Clive Crook's brain—how it was that, starting about a decade ago, one of the most interesting (and intelligent) of the Tories simply lost his grip on reality—remains, to me at least, a mystery.
Here I am hoisting from one of the first full-blown signs of it in 2007.
A little background: By 2008 the brain-eating was overwhelming. For example we had Clive Crook on the "huge success" of the nomination of Sarah Palin—meaning, that is, that she was highly qualified to be Vice President and would attract lots of new votes to the McCain-Palin ticket:
Clive Crook (2008): Democrats must learn some respect: "The problem in my view is less Mr Obama and more the attitudes of the claque of official and unofficial supporters that surrounds him... https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/09/democrats-must-learn-some-respect/8803/
July 21, 2017 at 07:38 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: History, Economics: Inequality, History, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (1)
Clueless DeLong Was Clueless: Hoisted from February 2007: The Domestic Macroeconomic Outlook: February 28, 2007 http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/02/the_domestic_ma.html: It looks like I'm not going to get to give my short talk on the domestic macroeconomic outlook up at Lake Tahoe this weekend:
That's too bad, because such talks quickly grow stale.
One of the major points of my schtick is that the macroeconomic outlook rarely changes suddenly, so that 90% of the time it is perfectly OK to say, "things are like they were, only three months ago." Nevertheless such talks have a very short half life: people like to know how the most recent news affects things, even if the usual answer is "not much"--except, of course, for those turning points where things do change a great deal, and which we usually see clearly only in retrospect.
I was going to hit three big points:
The night watchman state that supports the fully-developed market economy is one of the most strange and significant historical development in political economy. Any analysis of it requires that one view hit in perspective—that one examine other the other alternative forms that state power and authority can and do take and have taken.
And the greatest sociologist-political scientist-historian of our age analyzing such things is James C. Scott. I have often wished that I had a reading list on Scott-stuff to hand. And I wish somebody would construct an annotated one:
Here are my thoughts:
China and Economic Growth: Hoisted from the Archives (What I Am Thinking About Right Now Department) http://www.bradford-delong.com/2007/07/china-and-econo.html: Hoisted from the archives: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2006/01/china_and_econo.html: A somewhat different take on Ben Friedman's Moral Consequences of Economic Growth than the review I wrote for Harvard Magazine. Written for Caijing:
Notes for the July 11, 2017 Research on Tap http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/06/equitable-growth-research-on-tap-after-piketty-tue-jul-11-2017-at-500-pm.html event:
Meditations on Ryan Avent:
Ryan Avent: What will happen to 'The Wealth of Humans'? http://www.aei.org/publication/the-wealth-of-humans-a-qa-with-ryan-avent/: "This really dramatic technological change... the digital revolution... is adding hugely to the amount of effective labor that’s available to firms.... A lot of routine tasks in factories and in offices... [to] be automated.... High-skilled jobs... use these new technologies to do work that used to require a lot more people to do and in the process are displacing workers... enormous, abundant labor.... Employer[s] with... huge reservoir[s] of willing workers at very low wages... say.... "I don’t need to invest in this labor-saving technology.... replace my cashiers with automated checkout... replace the people moving boxes in the warehouse with robots". And so you get this sort of self-limiting technological change.... The more powerful the digital revolution... the more people... looking for low-wage work... the less of an interest firms have in using machines to replace them..."
Research on Tap: July 11, 2017: After Piketty
Loews Madison Hotel: 1177 15th St. NW, Washington DC: 5-7 PM
Run of Show:
5:15 PM – VOG announces that the program is going to start and for the audience to begin congregating closer to center stage
5:19–5:24 PM–Alyssa Fisher to introduce Ryan Avent (The Economist), and Heather Boushey (Washington Center for Equitable Growth): "Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Heather Boushey, and Senior Editor and Economics Columnist for The Economist, Ryan Avent"...
Equitable Growth: Research on Tap: After Piketty: "Join us on July 11 to kick off Equitable Growth’s new Research on Tap conversation series... https://www.eventbrite.com/e/research-on-tap-after-piketty-tickets-35521433564
Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
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